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THANK YOU. We get to choose what family means to us. Many thanks to Leigh Nash and the Invisible Publishing family for believing in this weirdo little book, to David O’Meara for editing it with generosity and openness, and to all the writers who have encouraged me lo these six long years, especially rob mclennan, Pearl Pirie, Paul Vermeersch, Hoa Nguyen, and Andrew Faulkner. Shoutout to the Law Poets Society. Shoutout to the Banff Centre. I have been sustained during the writing of this book by friends, lovers, and the loose associative and interconnected network of sexual communities in Toronto and elsewhere. And to Paul Sutton, subject of so much of this book, I look at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world….

Heart Filled With Little Matters

You can carry a grocery bag
by its strap like a violin case
or a bucket. Set it down
as you would a baby seat
or like you’ve got to get these rocks
off your lot.
You can take care or be rough
or both. Re-potting a fern,
dropping its crumbling
brown brain on newsprint.
Coaxing and yanking. New soil
like a black velveteen
hood. You can look
with or without wanting, a dark line
like a high water mark
settling under your ring. You will give it
what it needs even if not gingerly.
Don’t mistake attention for affection.
You can live in the world
without love for it. It’s not a disaster
just a mess, heart filled with little matters
and resolution unclear to all, or to me at least.

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